Zone 6 Hardy Succulents – Selecting Succulent Plants For Zone 6

Zone 6 Hardy Succulents – Selecting Succulent Plants For Zone 6

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Growing succulents in zone 6? Is that possible? We tend to think of succulents as plants for arid, desert climates, but there are a number of hardy succulents that tolerate chilly winters in zone 6, where temperatures can drop as low as -5 F. (-20.6 C.). In fact, a few can survive punishing winter climates as far north as zone 3 or 4. Read on to learn about selecting and growing succulents in zone 6.

Succulent Plants for Zone 6

Northern gardeners have no shortage of beautiful succulent plants for zone 6. Here are a few examples of zone 6 hardy succulents:

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ – Grayish-green leaves, large pink flowers turn bronze in fall.

Sedum acre – A ground-cover sedum plant with bright yellow-green blooms.

Delosperma cooperi ‘Trailing Ice Plant’ – Spreading ground cover with reddish-purple flowers.

Sedum reflexum ‘Angelina’ (Angelina stonecrop) – Groundcover with lime green foliage.

Sedum ‘Touchdown Flame’ – Lime green and burgundy-red foliage, creamy yellow flowers.

Delosperma Mesa Verde (Ice Plant) – Grayish-green foliage, pinkish-salmon blooms.

Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’ – Reddish-purple leaves, pinkish blooms.

Sempervivum spp. (Hens-and-Chicks), available in a huge variety of colors and textures.

Sedum spectabile ‘Meteor’ – Bluish-green foliage, large pink blooms.

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ – Deep purple foliage, long-lasting purple-pink flowers.

Opuntia ‘Compressa’ (Eastern Prickly Pear) – large, succulent, paddle-like pads with showy, bright yellow blooms.

Sedum ‘Frosty Morn’ (Stonecrop -Variegated Autumn) – Silvery grey leaves, white to pale pink flowers.

Succulent Care in Zone 6

Plant succulents in sheltered areas if winters tend to be rainy. Stop watering and fertilizing succulents in autumn. Don’t remove snow; it provides insulation for the roots when temperatures drop. Otherwise, succulents generally require no protection.

The key to success with zone 6 hardy succulents is to select plants suitable for your climate, then provide them with plenty of sunshine. Well-drained soil is absolutely critical. Although hardy succulents can tolerate cold temperatures, they won’t live long in wet, soggy soil.

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CHOOSING SUCCULENTS FOR ZONE 3, 4, 5 & 6 - NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO AND MINNESOTA

If you are plant lover, you know that selecting plant that suit your climate zone might play a major role to success. One of the first criteria to be considered before choosing a plant is their hardiness zone.


Today, authentic stone troughs are difficult to find, and command prices of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Ever resourceful gardeners have come up with a practical alternative: troughs, dishes and other small containers made from a mix of peat moss, perlite, Portland cement and reinforcing fibers. These materials are blended into a paste-like consistency which is then formed into a dish or trough and allowed to cure. The finished product, which goes by the name of "hypertufa," is much lighter than concrete or stone, yet has the same rustic character.

Hypertufa troughs and pots are quite readily available at local garden centers and online. You can also make your own hypertufa containers, which is a fun and relatively easy project.

Hypertufa pots, planted with hardy perennials can be left outdoors year-round.

Succulents love direct sun, but if yours is sitting in the same exact spot day after day, it's likely that only one side is getting enough light. Langton and Ray suggest rotating the plant often. Succulents will lean towards the sun, so rotating them will help them stand up straight. (Leaning may also be a sign that they need to be in a sunnier spot.)

Just like us, succulents need more energy when they're in a period of growth. During the spring and summer, the plants are thriving and drinking up much more water than when they're resting in the fall and winter. Langton and Ray recommend testing the soil with a finger—when the top 1.25 inches are dry, grab your watering can. Overwatering can kill your succulent, so make sure you let the soil dry between waterings.


Top 10 Cold Hardy Succulents

As much as we all love our tender succulents, I want to share with you my picks for the finest cold hardy succulents to be grown. I’m not just talking plants that won’t die when they freeze, but those that truly thrive even where the winters are fierce. To make my list of the 10 best winter succulents, each plant had to be hardy at least to zone 5, (-15°F / -26° C) a stellar performer year round, with exquisite form. You will find them to be a colorful bunch, with blooms that attract and support the local pollinators.

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Cold Hardy Sempervivum

Any list of cold-hardy succulents will star the lovely sempervivum. Also known as hens and chicks, these are rosette-forming succulents that produce abundant offspring. These winter succulents form attractive, dense mats of large rosettes (“hens”) surrounded by many smaller ones (“chicks”) in a wide array of colors. Throughout the year, they open their form, close it and develop more or less coloring in response to environmental stressors. Highly effective in rock gardens. Sempervivum blooms are monocarpic and highly attractive to butterflies. This Sempervivum Royanum is hardy to zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C), though some sempervivum varieti

Winter Succulent Stonecrop Sedums

Among the hundreds of species of sedum, are some of the very best and most colorful of all winter succulents. They are known as stonecrop sedums. These are vigorous, carefree plants that grow from a couple inches to a couple feet tall, and perform well in containers, rock gardens and garden beds. Stonecrop sedum blooms heavily, beckoning to bees and butterflies. This Sedum Angelina develops soft, needlelike foliage that ranges in color from chartreuse to lemon yellow to a gold brushed with rosy blush. Angelina is a cold hardy succulent that thrives in zone 3 (-45°F / -40° C) and tops out at just 5 inches tall.

Winter Hardy Agave

All agave make a handsome, sculptural addition to the garden. But most cannot take the cold and continue to thrive like Agave parryi, or Parry’s century plant. Hardy to zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C), Agave parryi forms stately, silver rosettes with serrated leaves. Enormous, towering blooms develop in 12-15 years, calling in all hummingbirds and stunning the neighbors. The mother plant dies out, but has produced several offspring before blooming.

Cobweb Sempervivum Arachnoideum Winter Succulent

Another intriguing variety of winter succulent is the sempervivum arachnoideum. Like all other semps, these are cold hardy succulents that tolerate zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C) climates or colder. But these cobweb sempervivums form many prominent trichomes, or hair-like filaments, that criss-cross all the leaves of the rosette, making a spider web effect. In sempervivum, these hairs are adaptations to the harsh conditions in which they live. The trichomes break up the airflow around the leaves, protecting them from drying out. They prevent ice crystals from forming directly on the surface of the leaf, and collect dew to funnel additional moisture to the plant. A dramatic and cold-hardy succulent.

Winter Succulent Delosperma

Delosperma, aka ice plant, is a winter succulent very popular with commercial plantings. It is an incredibly low maintenance succulent ground cover that creates blankets of dazzling blooms that attract butterflies and honeybees in droves. Delosperma cooperi also has a trailing habit that is so pretty spilling out of containers or hanging baskets, or weaving through rock gardens. Hardy to zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C)

Border Stonecrop Sedums

Another stellar stonecrop sedum is Sedum Autumn Joy. It grows 24″ tall, and performs beautifully in the perennial border, where its long-lasting blooms are a prized source of color for the gardener, and nectar for butterflies from summer through fall. The dazzling display varies from pale pink to vivid red, depending upon the climate. Dried blooms maintain their color well into winter. Sedum Autumn Joy is hardy to zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C).

Cold Hardy Succulent Cactus

Some varieties of prickly pear cactus are quite cold hardy. I chose to share Opuntia Pinta Rita because of its extraordinary coloring. The leaf pads are a wonderful turquoise that blushes a vivid, amethyst purple/magenta with the slightest stress. Extravagant lemon yellow blooms are plentiful and long-lasting, spring through fall, and highly attractive to hummingbirds. Opuntia Pinta Rita is cold hardy to zone 4 (-30°F / -34° C).

Cold Hardy Jovibarba / Sempervivum Heuffelii

Sometimes considered a subset of sempervivum, and sometimes classified a distinct genus Jovibarba, sempervivum heuffelii is similar in form and habit to the classic hens and chicks. The rosettes are typically richly colored, and maintain their vivid hue year round, rather than intensifying and fading with the seasons. Rather than forming offsets Succulent offsets are the baby succulents that form at the b. around the rosettes, sempervivum heuffelii develop baby rosettes between the leaves of the mother plant, for an intriguing appearance. All are exceptional winter succulents and strong performers. Sempervivum heuffelii Bros is an outstanding variety, hardy to zone 4 (-30°F / -34° C).

Winter Succulent Orostachys

Orostachys is a charming winter succulent that deserves to be more widely grown. Silver or gre en rosettes are reminiscent of echeveria, but cold hardy to zone 5 (-15°F / -26° C). Orostachys iwarenge forms low mats of rosettes that soon begin to elongate into conical forms with a pink blush that reach 6″ tall. In late summer, frothy pink and white flowers open and beckon to honey bees. Perfect for rock gardens and containers.

Stonecrop Sedum Winter Succulents

It was a challenge keeping this list of top cold hardy succulents to just 10. The colors and forms are spectacular! But I had to include the stonecrop Sedum Fuldaglut , or Fireglow. In full sun, bronzey green leaves turn coppery then a deep burgundy in the fall, Pink starry blooms in late summer are a favorite with bees and butterflies. This stonecrop sedum tops out at just 5″ tall, and is cold hardy to zone 4 (-30°F / -34° C). A stellar performer ideal for rock gardens and containers.

There you have it, my choices for the top 10 winter succulents for your garden. Each is easy to grow, exceptionally beautiful and an outstanding garden plant. If you have any questions or want to nominate another top cold hardy succulent, please leave me a comment! I love hearing from you!


Our Favorite Full Sun Succulents

Here are 14 of our favorite full sun succulents:

‘Sticks on Fire’ (Euphorbia tirucalli v. rosea ‘Sticks on Fire’)

Photo by and (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man). Location credit to the Chanticleer Garden. / CC BY-SA

With a name like ‘Sticks on Fire’, it’s no surprise that this distinctive succulent shrub loves full sun. This plant is a favorite in-ground outdoor evergreen that produces pencil-thin stems that resemble flaming sticks, especially in winter when its color is reddest. It can grow up to eight feet tall and wide and provides a fiery pop of color and lovely vertical accent to any waterwise garden.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: ‘Sticks on Fire’ is drought tolerant and thus has low water needs. Water only when the topsoil is completely dry.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, sandy succulent mix.
  • Repotting: Sticks on fire is often planted in-ground. If planted in a container, repot as needed when your plant outgrows its pot, perhaps every three years.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 10a-12b.
  • Propagation: ‘Sticks on Fire’ is easily propagated from stem cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This plant is largely pest and disease resistant and quite easy to care for. Note: while ‘Sticks on Fire’ is not susceptible to damage, it is toxic to humans—do not get its sap near your face or eyes and use gloves when handling!

Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe luciae)

Mokkie / CC BY-SA

With its flat, rounded jade-green leaves with red borders, Kalanchoe luciae is certainly one of the most eye-catching succulents. When its paddle-like leaves are exposed to proper sunlight, their jade-green color will recede and become more and more red. Your Kalanchoe luciae can grow up to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide, making it suitable for inground and potted planting alike.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun, preferably outdoors. If grown indoors, make sure your paddle plant gets at least six hours of morning sunlight a day.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter, when the soil will remain moist longer.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, loamy or sandy succulent mix.
  • Repotting: Pot your Kalanchoe luciae in a clay pot. Repot as needed when your plant outgrows its pot in spring, normally every one to two years.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-12b.
  • Propagation: Propagate your plant with leaf or stem cuttings and by any offsets that may appear.
  • Susceptibilities:Kalanchoe luciae may be susceptible to mealybugs and to slugs and snails, which can permanently damage its leaves.

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

AlixSaz / CC BY-SA

This delightfully chubby cactus won’t fail to bring a smile to your face. Golden Barrel Cactus is green and ribbed with light yellow spines. This rotund succulent can grow up to four feet tall and three feet wide and makes for a charming feature in any waterwise garden. Just be careful if you have small children or pets nearby—while its spines are charming aesthetically, they can really hurt!

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun, preferably outdoors. Just make sure your cactus isn’t exposed to southwestern sun and heat during the hottest days of the year.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter when soil will remain moist longer.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, succulent mix or soil.
  • Repotting: You won’t need to repot this cactus often. Repot in an unglazed pot when your plant outgrows its container. Just make sure to wear thick garden gloves when you do!
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: Golden Barrel Cactus is typically propagated by seed or by removing pups that may appear.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is largely pest resistant but may be susceptible to mealybugs, water rot, and cactus funguses.

Century Plant (Agave americana)

Linkin (Alexander Goesten) / CC BY-SA

The sun loving Century Plant is not only beautiful but helpful, too! It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and you can even roast and eat the flower stalks and base leaves. Agave americana’s rosette leaves are pointed and lined with sharp spines. This large, grey-green beauty can grow up to six feet tall and ten feet wide.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun to partial shade, preferably outdoors.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter when soil will remain moist longer. If kept in a container, more frequent watering is necessary.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, succulent mix or rocky or sandy soil.
  • Repotting: Repot in a slightly larger pot once you notice your Agave americana has become rootbound.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 8a-11b.
  • Propagation: Your Century Plant is best propagated by any offsets that may appear.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to agave snout weevil.

Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens)

JJ Harrison (https://www.jjharrison.com.au/) / CC BY-SA

With silvery green leaves lined in dark pink, Crassula arborescens makes for a lovely addition to any home garden and even does well indoors if it receives enough sunlight. While it can reach four feet in height, it can easily be kept to a smaller, more manageable size by regular pruning and planting it in a smaller pot. Between spring and summer, Silver Dollar Jade produces clusters of starry white blooms.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun to light shade.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Mature plants that are grown outdoors rarely need watering at all.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed, preferably in spring or early summer.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9b-11a.
  • Propagation: Your Silver Dollar Jade plant is best propagated in summer by stem or leaf cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to mealybugs, fungal diseases, and root rot.

Pink Ice Plant (Oscularia deltoides)

C T Johansson / CC BY

This flowering shrublet has small, plump, triangular blue-green leaves with harmless little “teeth”. In spring Pink Ice Plant’s unique leaves are covered in masses of magenta, daisy-like blooms. This plant likes to spread, growing up to one foot tall and three feet wide, and when planted in containers it will cascade out of them, providing beauty whether flowering or not.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot in early spring once a year if grown indoors.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 8a-11b.
  • Propagation:Oscularia deltoides is best propagated by stem cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, and root rot.

Lipstick Echeveria (Echeveria agavoides ‘Lipstick’)

With its lime green leaves and bright crimson edges, Lipstick Echeveria is certainly a looker. When exposed to enough sunlight, this plant’s “lipstick” becomes even more stunningly pronounced. Lipstick Echeveria grows up to six inches tall and a foot wide, making it perfect for outdoor gardens and decorative containers alike.

  • Lighting requirements: Full to partial sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining succulent mix or a loamy or sandy soil.
  • Repotting: Repot in spring or early summer as needed.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-12b.
  • Propagation: Lipstick Echeveria is best propagated in spring by removing offsets about every two to three years.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is virtually disease free but may be susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, and vine weevil.

Key Lime Pie (Adromischus cristasis)

Manuelarosi / CC BY-SA

With its dreamy deep green, crinkled, puffy leaves, Adromischus cristasus is a welcome addition to any plant-lover’s home. This easy-going, slow-growing succulent will only reach about six inches tall, making it a perfect plant for potting. It prefers to live outdoors where it can receive plenty of direct sunlight.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months. This plant does not like overwatering!
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent mix.
  • Repotting: Repot only when necessary, which is not often. Key Lime Pie plants do well in terracotta pots.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-10b.
  • Propagation:Adromischus cristasis is easily propagated with leaf cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is attractive to mealybugs and boll weevils.

Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens)

Krzysztof Golik / CC BY-SA

As its name suggests, Blue Chalksticks has attractive chalky, blue-green leaves that reach to the sky. When given the proper amount of sun, the edges of its cylindrical blue-green leaves will become purple, providing plenty of color in your garden. Typically used as groundcover, you can also grow Senecio serpens in a container garden. In summertime the blue-green and purple leaves are complemented by small, white flowers.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry, about once every three weeks. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot in early spring if your plant outgrows its pot.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 10a-11b.
  • Propagation:Senecio serpens is easily propagated with leaf cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to mealybugs and aphids and root rot if overwatered.

Copper Pinwheel (Aeonium ‘Sunburst’)

Megan Hansen from Portland, OR, US / CC BY-SA

Similar in appearance to Echeveria ‘Compton Carousel,’ this charmer produces eye-catching variegated rosettes. Copper Pinwheel is green with either yellow or white stripes and can develop red tips when exposed to the proper amount of sunlight. This plant does flower in summertime, producing white blooms, but because it is monocarpic, it will die afterwards. Make sure to propagate it before this happens so you’ll have Copper Pinwheel plants for years to come!

  • Lighting requirements: Full to partial sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be a sandy loam or regular potting mix since, unlike most succulents, your Copper Pinwheel will need more moisture in its soil.
  • Repotting: Repot every two to three years.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9b-11b.
  • Propagation: Your Copper Pinwheel is easily propagated with stem cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible mealybugs and aphids.

‘Fred Ives’ (x Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’)

Leonora Enking from West Sussex, England / CC BY-SA

This fast-growing sunset-colored succulent produces huge rosettes reaching up to eight inches tall and twelve inches wide. Dazzling in colors like pink, purple, orange, and blue-green, you’ll definitely want to get ahold of a Fred Ives if you don’t have one already. In summer your plant will reward you with starry yellow blossoms upheld on elegant flower stalks.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun, preferably outside. If grown outside, Fred Ives needs the brightest possible light.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot about every two years or whenever it gets too large for its container.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 8b-9b.
  • Propagation: Fred Ives is best propagated by leaf or stem cuttings and any offsets that appear.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites.

Coppertone Stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum)

The Titou / CC BY-SA

The colorful Coppertone Stonecrop produces fiery rosettes ranging in color from rosy-gold to copper-red when exposed to the full sun it loves. This versatile Mexican native grows about eight inches tall with two-inch wide rosettes and does well both indoors and out. It appeals to gardeners and butterfly-enthusiasts alike, as the plant attracts all sorts of Lepidoptera. In winter and spring, Sedum nussbaumerianum produces clusters of white, pink, or red dome-shaped flowers. It does well as groundcover or in a hanging basket.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot in early spring whenever it gets too large for its container.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: Coppertone Stonecrop is best propagated by leaf or stem cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities: This succulent is susceptible to aphids and flies.

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

The Prickly Pear Cactus can be recognized by its flat, wide, paddle-like pads, colorful oval shaped fruit, and yellow, red, or purple flowers it produces in late spring and early summer. This fetching blooming cactus is more than just looks, though. The Prickly Pear Cactus’ pads and fruit are also edible! Both the pads and the fruit can be eaten either raw or cooked.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water about twice a month in summer. Reduce watering to once a month in winter.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, alkaline to neutral cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot in early spring whenever it gets too large for its container.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-11b. Some varieties can tolerate colder climates.
  • Propagation: Prickly Pear Cactus is best propagated by pad cuttings.
  • Susceptibilities:Opuntia are not normally prone to pests but may be susceptible to mealybugs and root rot.

Retro Succulents Carmine Aloe (Aloe ‘Carmine’)

If you’re looking for interesting color and pattern in your succulent garden, you can’t go wrong with Carmine Aloe. This unique hybrid aloe produces striking rosettes with light green leaves flecked with orange and bordered with red-orange margins. It grows about eight inches tall and wide and can be planted alone or in small groups. It rarely blooms, but with such distinctive foliage, flowers won’t be missed.

  • Lighting requirements: Full to partial sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water only when the topsoil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed, whenever it gets too large for its container or becomes rootbound.
  • Winter Hardy in Zones: 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: Aloes are best propagated by offsets.
  • Susceptibilities: This plant is susceptible to leaf spot.


Everything You Need to Know About Growing and Caring for Succulents

Succulents are the perfect plant for forgetful and sometimes neglectful gardeners. They do not require much care and are easy to grow inside as well as out. They come in a variety of colors and textures and look lovely, potted or landscaped.

Succulents are a diverse group of plants that come in many shapes. There are over 20,000 varieties with kinds suited for all growing conditions. They store water in their leaves, which tend to be thick and plump, although some have thinner leaves. Succulents often grow in dry climates without much humidity. They need to be watered but can stand periods of drought instead of pulling water stored in the leaves. Succulents do not do well in wet conditions as their roots will start to rot if sitting in water for too long. They often prefer warm weather, and most can not survive freezing temperatures. The stored water in the leaves will freeze and destroy the plant. Some species, however, can survive a freezing winter.

Succulent Care

As with all plants, the four things to consider when caring for succulents are light, water, soil, and temperature.

Light

Both indoor and outdoor succulents generally need at least 3 hours of direct sun daily. Morning sunlight would be preferable as the afternoon sun can be too harsh. Some succulents that receive too much sun may be damaged and look sunburned with scars on their leaves or a washed-out color. Especially in hot climates where the sun is the most direct, be sure to keep your succulents in areas with filtered sunlight.

Alternatively, succulents that do not receive enough sun may begin to grow or reach toward the sun. The plants may start to grow tall with the leaves more spaced out. Succulents that are colored may also turn green if not receiving enough light.

Water

Succulents are made to grow in arid climates and, as a result, do not need much water. They instead store their water in their leaves or stems. When watering your succulents, be sure the soil is dry before you water. Soak the soil around the plant and do not water again until the soil is dry. If the roots stay wet for long periods, they may begin to rot, causing the plant to rot. You will tell this is occurring because the leaves will turn black and mushy and may start to grow mold. Generally, most succulents need to be watered only once a week. This will vary depending on your climate and soil conditions. If you are unsure how often to water your succulents, it is better to underwater rather than overwater.

Well-draining soil is vital for succulents. This is important as too much moisture will cause the plant to rot. If you grow your succulents in pots, be sure the pot has drainage holes.

When planting succulents, look for a potting mix for cacti and succulents. This mix is designed to drain better than regular potting soil. If you cannot find a commercial potting mix, you can make your own.

Temperature

Most succulents can tolerate a large range of temperatures if they get the right amount of sun and water. However, the more delicate succulents should not be kept in temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C) or below freezing. The extreme heat will cause them to droop when the soil gets too hot and dry and below freezing will freeze the water in their leaves.

Propagating

One of the excellent qualities of succulents is their ability to propagate easily. You can often start a new plant from a leaf or a plant cutting. Some succulents propagate better from a cutting rather than a leaf. The succulents with thick, fleshy leaves are best suited to leaf propagation.

The best way to remove a leaf for propagation is to gently twist the leaf from the stem. You will want the entire leaf, so nothing should be left on the stem. For succulents that propagate best from cuttings, use sharp scissors or pruning shears and cut off a stem right above a leaf. This can be either the top of the succulent or a new shoot.

After removing the leaf or cutting, you will want the end to dry out and scab over a bit before planting. If you plant it freshly cut, it may absorb too much moisture. Depending on your climate and humidity, this may take 1 to 3 days. The leaf or cutting may shrivel slightly. You will want to plant it before it dries out too much.

When the end of the cutting is dry, it is time to plant it. The leaf does not need to be planted and instead should be laid on top of the soil. Mist the cutting or leaf with water whenever the soil is dry. You do not need to soak the soil. The leaves will begin to grow tiny roots within 4 to 6 weeks. When you start to see roots, cover them with soil, so they do not dry out. Propagating new plants from leaves and cuttings is not a quick process as it may take up to a year for the new plant to be fully grown.

Identifying

Often when you buy a succulent at the store, it may not be labeled. Or it will be labeled simply as "succulent" or "succulent variety." This can be frustrating as different succulents have different growth requirements. There are many avenues you can take to help you identify your plant. The first may be to simply ask the seller. If they are unsure, you may identify your succulent with a photo using an online forum.

The more complicated way to identify your succulent is to look at the plant's characteristics, such as leaf shape and growing habits.

Leaf shape

Succulents come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. The leaf shapes can vary greatly among the different kinds. The leaves are generally long and spikey or small and circular. Succulents that have long spikey leaves include Aloe vera, Agave, and Gasteria. Within the spikey-leaved category, the leaves may be grass-like or fleshy. The succulents with circular leaves are rose-shaped, called rosette-forming succulents, and include Aeonium, Echeveria, and Graptopeltum.

Rosette type

Succulents that grow in the rosette-form feature close clusters of leaves that radiate from the center as a flower would. These leaves may be pointed or round, fleshy, or grass-like.

Configuration

Some succulents grow in long stalks, and others grow close to the ground and spread out. Succulents may change in configuration as they mature, so waiting until they have aged may help in making an identification.

Plant size

The plant's size may help you identify the plant and determine where it should be grown. Smaller plants, just a couple of inches tall and wide, may be best suited indoors. Larger plants may be best to grow outside.

Flower shape and color

Flowers are one of the easiest ways to identify a plant. If your succulent blooms, pay attention to the shape, size, color, and even the time of year it blooms.

Indoor Succulents

Succulents are a popular choice for houseplants because they do not require a lot of maintenance. A Jade Plant is a classic choice and is easy to grow. Aloe vera is also popular and can be used to treat sunburns or wounds. Burro's Tail is a pretty plant that can add some interest to your interior. It has overlapping leaves that can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) in length and hang over the flower pot.

Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus are succulents that bloom during the holidays and offer some color during the year when it can be hard to find. Keep this succulent outside in a sheltered area in the summer and fall. Bring it indoors when the overnight temperatures begin to drop into the 40s. Fertilize the plant three times during the summer and keep it drier in the winter than in the spring and summer.

One of the easiest houseplants to keep is the Snake Plant. It gets its name from the shape of its leaves. This is an indestructible houseplant that strives for neglect. It grows upright and can fit into many locations in the home. There are also many varieties, some that are variegated in color, to offer many options.

Outdoor Succulents

The most common succulents you will find to grow outside are Yucca, Prickly Pear Cactus, and Agave. These plants are great for landscaping and can be used alone or for all of the landscape. Yucca and Agave are hardy for most of the United States.

Hen and chicks are members of the genus Sempervivum and get their name from the mother plant, the hen, that produces a cluster of offsets, the chicks. They are an easy plant to grow in the sunny part of the yard. They are low-growing and are also a good choice for a houseplant. When keeping it as a houseplant, be sure to let the soil dry out completely between watering.

Sedum, commonly know as Stonecrop, is a great succulent to use as a groundcover as most types are low-growing. Some varieties are taller and look best in the middle of the garden. They grow well in a typical garden but do best in drier conditions. They also grow well in full sun or partial sun.

Planting Succulents

When planting succulents in your garden, one thing you should pay attention to is the soil. If your soil is not naturally well-draining, you will need to mix in some sand or gravel to help the drainage. No succulents can tolerate standing water, so well-drained soil is key.

To help landscape the succulents consider adding a rock garden. This is a great way to achieve a natural-looking succulent garden. Rock gardens feature various rocks and help mimic many succulents' native habits helping the landscaped succulents look more natural. You can also plant the succulents in groups to help them look purposeful and avoid planting in rows, which can create the effect of soldiers in a row.

Links

SUCCULENTOPEDIA: Browse succulents by Genus, Family, Scientific Name, Common Name, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Watch the video: Cold Resistant Succulent Varieties